Bird by bird or the art of doing what you can with what you have

birds1“Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report written on birds that he’d had three months to write, which was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books about birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him put his arm around my brother’s shoulder, and said, “Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.”Anne Lamott

There are some psychologists who believe over-thinkers to have highly specialized brains; their minds are great at solving complex problems. Where most people give up easily enough, they keep thinking and trying to find a solution. They spend more time on a certain task that anyone else.

But over-thinkers often get stuck. Their minds keep trying to fix something that can’t be fixed, no matter what. And this slowly kills them inside. Continue reading

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How to conquer the world…

world

“The measure of who we are is what we do with what we have.” – Vince Lombardi

I’ve wanted to conquer the world ever since I was six. That was when I began to create this grand vision about myself: that one day I would become the richest man in the world. Of course, over the years that vision changed. But still, I want to conquer the world.

But the thing is, you can’t conquer the world by way of force, by manipulating, by intimidating. That is a lesson that every dictator learned the hard way, either by being defeated or by having his legacy destroyed after his death.
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The map is not the territory

We humans have to process an insane amount of information on a daily basis. Our senses alone provide more than we can cope with.

So we create maps. Instructions on how to navigate the world. Some of them, you might call stereotypes; a system performs according to certain rules.

We understand cause and effect, we understand the ramifications of our actions, and the way people react to different stimuli.

But the map is not the territory. Continue reading

You should know defeat, but never be defeated

defeat

“People should know when they are conquered.

Would you, Quintus? Would I?” – Gladiator

There are many things you can do to another person. You can defeat them, time and time again, you can conquer them, control them, inflict pain upon them. But you can never destroy them. Not entirely. They tend to hold on to that last remaining piece of their humanity, not matter how broken their hearts are, and they don’t want to let go.

People don’t know when they’re being conquered. They just can’t accept a definitive defeat.

And, yet, in a world where so few have what it takes to be brave, in a world where few are capable of recognizing courage, there are a lot of people who’d like to avoid fighting any battles at all. They stare at the mountain and they say to themselves that there’s no point in trying to climb to the top. They avoid conflict at any cost. Continue reading

Focus

Focus. The ability to do what has to be done, even when you don’t feel like it.
To do the work.

To enjoy the process.

The ability to drown out the inner critic, to ignore the naysayers.

Focus.

What you focus on, happens. What you expect to see, that’s what will be in front of your eyes.

Life is a mirror.

We are all our own prophets.

Our stories about who we are and what we are capable of influence what we do.

As they say,  there are no hopeless situations, only people who think hopelessly.

Shoot for the moon

“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”Norman Vincent Peale

Such a simple yet profound statement.

Shoot for the moon. Aim high in life, for there’s no point in playing it safe.

After all, you only have one life to live.

History teaches us that only those who dare greatly, who risk failing miserably, are the ones who achieve greatly.

Fortune favors the bold, the Romans would say. Continue reading

Fight for your dream

“Most people will spend their lives doing jobs that they don’t particularly enjoy, and will eventually save up enough money to stop doing those jobs just in time to start dying instead. Don’t be one of those people. There’s a difference between living, and just surviving. Do something that you love, and find someone to love who loves that you love what you do.
It really is that simple.
And that hard.”John Connolly

I believe that most of us crave adventure. We want our lives to make us feel. We crave the bittersweet excitement brought on by uncertainty.

But we also want safety. And comfort. Just enough.

We are torn between “more” and “just enough.”
Continue reading